Dynamite Demba is so much more than the new Ilan for Hammers
West Ham striker Demba Ba is making a magnificent impact since his arrival at Upton Park.
Last season it was Brazilian striker Ilan who grabbed four goals to haul West Ham out of the relegation zone, this time round it is Demba Ba, but the comparisons between the two end right there.
While Ilan struggled to prove himself in the Premier League and was ultimately discarded at the end of the campaign, the Senegal international has made a magnificent start to his West Ham career with four goals in just five games.
The 25-year-old was at it again on Saturday, scoring the opener in the 3-0 win over Stoke City and he confessed that he is loving every minute in the Premier League.
“It is even better than I thought it would be,” said Ba. “I always looked at the Premier league on TV and I knew what I could do if I came here.
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“I am just working hard to get fitness and to get strength, because it is a lot about strength and I am just going to keep on working and giving my best every Saturday.”
It is a lot about strength and Ba seems to have it in abundance. He held off the strong-arm tactic of Marc Wilson to force the ball over the line for his goal.
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“We are not playing with any fear,” he said. “I think in the first half of the season, I wasn’t there, but they were unlucky I think, and sometimes they lost games they maybe shouldn’t have done.
“Now everything is going well for us. We are scoring goals and we know how to keep the leads and win the games. We just have to keep on going and keep on doing it.”
Stoke boss Tony Pulis went into the West Ham dressing room after the game on Saturday to congratulate Ba, but it must have been with something of a heavy heart after missing out on the player’s signature.
For Ba though there are no hard feelings. “He was very happy for me,” revealed the striker after the match.
“I came very close to going there, but you just have to move on. Things happen in life and I am not going to worry about not moving to Stoke. I have come here and I am just getting on with it and moving on.”
Moving on is something of an understatement. He has rejuvenated the West Ham team alongside Thomas Hitzlsperger and he is convinced that the team will stay in the Premier League.
“I know that we can get out of it. I know the ability of the players and I know that we can do even better than we are at the moment,” he insisted.
“All the games are important. Last week’s game against Liverpool was important, but I think these kinds of games, like against Stoke are even more vital.
“We have to play Tottenham and Chelsea in the next weeks and we will go there with confidence and we will go there to win.”